The Enlightenment 1650-1789 Big Questions 1. What was the Enlightenment and how did it reflect new scientific ideas? 2. How did Enlightenment writers and thinkers set the stage for revolutionary movements? Enlightenment Ideas • Reason is admired by philosophers. • Used reason from science to improve all aspects of human life (government, religion, education, and economics). • Pro-religious toleration. • Society could be improved by using reason and the Scientific Method Enlightened Philosophers Thomas Hobbes • Wrote the Leviathan. • Called for an all-powerful leader. • People are inherently bad. • Role of gov’t- to preserve peace and stability at all costs. John Locke • Wrote Two Treatises on Gov’t. • Man is improvable through reason. • All men are born equal with certain unalienable rights…life, liberty, PROPERTY (Natural Rights) • Role of gov’t- to secure the rights for its citizens (revolts are ok). Montesquieu • Wrote The Spirit of the Laws. • Gov’t should operate with a system of checks and balances. • Separation of Powers-3 branches of gov’t. Rousseau • Wrote “The Social Contract”. • Viewed government as a Social Contract among free individuals to create a society guided by the “general will”. (rebellion is ok, if necessary) • Man in the state of nature is good Voltaire • Pro-religious toleration. • Enlightened DespotismRational monarchs protect people’s rights (freedom of speech, religion, etc.) Mary Wollstonecraft • Argued for women’s education and political participation • Believed women, like men, need education to become virtuous and useful • Women’s equality Enlightenment Impact Encouraged people to: 1. Judge for themselves what was right or wrong in society. 2. Rely on human reason to solve social problems. Hobbes vs. Locke Hobbes: - People are selfish, self-serving, and brutal. - Without control, society would be chaotic Locke: - People are reasonable and able to make their own decisions. - People should be able to govern themselves. Big Questions 1. What was the Enlightenment and how did it reflect new scientific ideas? 2. How did Enlightenment writers and thinkers set the stage for revolutionary movements?